Pump and scuba diving

I use an Animas 2020 and my husband and I were thinking about renting some scuba gear and try scuba diving.Will I be able to dive with my pump on.Please advise.

And have you checked with the scuba gear rental outfit ? …just to cover all angles .


I don’t know anything about the “waterproofness” of the Animas, other than you can go swimming with it. The issue with a waterproof pump going scuba diving is pressure. The pump might handle depths up to 30 feet (9 meters), but the pressure beyond that will likely destroy one or more components on the pump. My guess is you would need to place it in an underwater housing (like a camera) if you feel you HAD to dive with the pump on. Of course, you might also have an issue with getting the insulin delivered through the infusion set since the insulin might mix with ocean (salt) water.

What I do is simply remove the pump before diving, suspend the basal delivery, and re-connect when I get back to the dive boat. Since most dives are about an hour in length, I can tolerate that pretty well. I couple all that with a lot of testing and my latest thinking is to put in a new infusion set after every dive, since sometimes the site goes bad after a dive.

You might have to search to find an instructor who will allow you to dive, but if you are in good control and avoid diving when your BG is low or heading down you should be OK.

Fair Winds,
~ currently living aboard my sailboat in Antigua

I would refrain for submerging the pump in water, with the exception of a random splash here or there. There are to many variables that could compromise its water resistance to safely consider it a fool proof water resistant device.

NO YOU CANNOT DIVE WITH A PUMP ON you must switch to MDI during the dive. ALSO you will need a DR clearance to get the training for your scuba license. There is a thread on the ADA forum type1 board.

Just to help make things clear, there are no pumps on the market that will withstand the water pressures experienced in scuba diving. Period. End of story.

I will leave it to others to figure whether or not you can wear the catheter underwater. To me, it seems like if you get a failure in the catheter, perhaps from your wetsuit or a tank harness strap rubbing back and forth over it, you might get seawater in it and then in you.

In scuba diving, the technical term for this sort of thing is “BAD JUJU”…

And most dive shops don’t know anything at all about diabetics.

Reviewing your status with your endo is certainly a good idea, but the main question is one you have to answer for yourself. That question is, “Am I stable enough so that I will not suffer a low glucose event while I am in the water”. The answer should tell you whether or not you can scuba dive.

If you go on a diving vacation, as in four to five dives each day, then the pump becomes a serious inconvenience. Shift over to injections. If you are going diving once on a Saturday, then remove the pump and the catheter and put it back on after you get home and get a shower.

Just my two cents worth. And keep in mind that I am a very experienced scuba diver and an inexperienced diabetic.

Hope this helps.

Take care,

Dive safe,


I do both rather well :slight_smile: Dive and take insulin that is.

Seriously, as others have said you can’t dive with a pump. It would either kill the pump or you or both.

As for ‘trying scuba diving’ - don’t!

You need to be committed to learning how to dive correctly, you need to have the physical and mental skills and discipline to make it go right, and you need to be in 100% control of your BG before and during a dive. You have to be prepared to dive with a higher BG than normal to account for the huge amount of energy you expend and you have to know without question what expending that energy will do to your BG and how fast. You have to try all this out on safe dry land so you KNOW before you take your first lesson.

If you get something wrong you may not make it back alive. Diving is moderately risky for a healthy person but it is far more dangerous for a diabetic. I know that sounds like hyperbole but it is true.

On a more tactical note, most dive operations won’t let you dive if you tell them you are a diabetic or have any number of other health issues. You will likely need to be OK with lying to them on the health disclosure form or spend a lot of time and energy finding an operation that let you dive anyway. That is your call.

If you do take the time, money, and effort to dive you will love it. It is an amazing and totally different world underwater. Amazing.

Good luck and feel free to reply with any other questions. This is a good thread!

I agree with most of what you said, however I would have to disagree with the “As for ‘trying scuba diving’ - don’t!”.

Yes you do have to be committed to doing it properly (and needing a Dr.'s approval is 100% necessary) but there is nothing wrong with trying it after a Dr. has given the OK. I would also strongly advise against ever lying on the health disclosure form. It is extremely important for the dive operators to know what to possibly expect so they know how to deal with an emergency. It would not be very good for a person to be in a diabetic coma and have the operators start treatment on what they may assume is an Arterial Gas Embolism or other DCI.

Something like a “discover scuba diving” course will give you an idea of what to expect, and is done in either a pool or in shallow water in pool-like conditions. You are not just thrown into the ocean to see how it goes grins.

I completely agree with how amazing it is, which is why I would encourage a person to give it a try in the proper environment with a Dr.'s OK. :slight_smile:

I am currently a PADI Divemaster.

Yes, I was thinking that ‘try’ was referring to a resort style open water dive or something like that. I have seen people thrown into 15-30 feet of ocean after a 1 hour ‘course’ on diving. In a pool, etc I 100% agree it is fine to try it.

I have no problem lying to a diver operator as long as I am in 100% control and have complete confidence that my condition will not play a role in the dive. In many casual settings (on a cruise, on a quick vacation, etc it is the only practical way to dive. IMO. Beyond that, I would never expect (or trust) any dive operator to know how to manage my condition or react in an emergency that was related to it. I see it as my job to never let that happen. Or, if I feel I can’t I don’t dive.

I have seen very healthy people with no medical conditions of any kind come very close to never making it back to the boat. They did not take diving seriously enough. It is serious business for anyone and more so for us.

All that said, I am sure there are operators that can and do support and work with people who have diabetes and they can be trusted to know what to do in an emergency. I have just not come in contact with that many but my mask is off to them!